CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

PUNSARA AMARASINGHE – SANJAY RAJHANS CYIL 11 (2020) Issues decisive for China’s Rise and Fall: An International Law Perspective By: Yuwa Wei Springer Singapore / © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019. pp. XXV, 203, ISBN (Hardcover) 978-981-13-3698-0 We are witnessing an epoch that can be simply regarded as a paradigm shift in the international political order in the backdrop of COVID 19. During the first decade of the 21st century, China’s rise was illustrated as a peaceful one by many political observers, and it was gradually transformed into a quest for global governance by the influx of the Belt and Road initiative of Xi Jing Ping in 2013. However, China’s international expansion mechanisms and its yearning for superpower status have reached their crescendo, where many critics have pointed out on the repercussions that may arise from China’s rise. Standing at this critical juncture focusing on China’s rise the book was written by Yuwa Wei named “Issues decisive for China’s Rise and Fall: An International Law Perspective” is a timely contribution to the existing literature. Wei’s book has been divided into five parts consisting of ten chapters. The introductory chapter provides an astute analysis of how energy appears to be the foremost challenge of China in the 21st century in its path to becoming a global superpower. Moreover, as a Chinese native Wei has shown a sense of sincerity to admit the greater environmental destruction caused by the intensity of China’s rapid growth. It is true that since its commencement of economic reforms in China, it has placed economic developments at the top of its agenda while paying less attention to environmental protection, resulting in the impressive GDP growth at the expanse of its environment (p. 8). While discussing the ancient Chinese Confucian tradition about environmental conservation, the author has aptly pointed out how rapid industrialization and urbanization have generated the country’s growth of “ inadequate supply ” (p. 19). In a situation where most the scholars have been cynical towards China’s energy diplomacy and its regional affairs in Central Asia and the Russian Federation, the second chapter of Yon’s work has left optimistic remarks on the energy diplomacy of the People’s Republic Of China towards its neighbors as a “peaceful expansion presenting opportunities to the existing institutions” (p. 34). These claims can create serious contentions from a realistic point of view, as China’s involvement in energy politics in Central Asian and South Asia has reshaped regional geopolitical balance. Chapter Four of Part Two of the book presents a more important issue on the territory, which is purely relevant to the notion of China’s growth. The author has especially analyzed how deepening causes stemming from the energy and geopolitics have doubled the value of the South China Sea. From the author’s perspective, the South China sea remains one of China’s key pillars for its growth while the US strives for it in the same intensity with its importance to hold American power in Asia; thus the “jurisdictional claims relating to the dispute in the South China Sea cannot be divorced from the wider issues on energy security and geopolitics” (p. 91)


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